Day 48 – Back into the world of Orthodontics…

I had my appointment with the Orthodontist yesterday, I am pleased to say I am now the proud owner of a full set of braces again 🙂

The bottom wire was finally fixed and the orthodontics have resumed. Getting the little squares back on wasnt a very comfortable experience – I have a bone cut between my lower front teeth so when pressure was applied to put the brackets back into place that felt extremely sore. Also when the wire was fed through all of the brackets and the bands were being put on that was REALLY painful – I cried 😦     All of my lower teeth were just so so sore, although I think a lot of that was to do with where the lower brace was cut, then bands on in the evening night/off in the day time,  so the teeth took the pressure of the bands not the wire.  Already since yesterday the front 4 teeth are so much more in line. I was told these teeth would move back quickly and it’s really encouraging to see. I was also sent for more facial photographs yesterday but before I went Mr Power showed me some of my case pictures from the start of the journey before the braces even went on… all I can say is wow! – I knew they were bad, but seeing a full size computer screen of your crooked teeth…. I was just amazed at the difference. He said I am healing really well and even inside my mouth along the gum /cheek line is healing nicely. It’s reassuring to hear. I mentioned that having the little “thing” he made on my lower 3 teeth while we waited for the orthodontics to start again really helped, he said it was the first one he had done… the lower central jaw/chin bone cut is a relatively new procedure so they are still finding things out post op I guess… I said “Dont worry, this is the first time I’ve ever had anything like this lol” he laughed and said that hopefully the last time for me too.

I see mr Power again in 5 weeks time for the next adjustment. In the meantime I am to still wear my bands from around 6pm-7am or when I get up. My teeth are sore today but I’m hoping it will settle in a few days, then once that has calmed down perhaps I will be able to eat pasta and rice (baby steps…) but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m just going to keep listening to my body and go at the pace it wants. I’m so used to yoghurt and mashed potato now it’s not really bothering me too much anymore. I still havent attempted any fizzy drinks as I am worried about the acid in them and the stitches.. I’m sure I still have stitches in the top, it feels tight and pulling at times… I’m used to drinking water now so have got past the point of wanting a soft drink, so for health reasons, I may just stick to that – it’ll be better for my teeth in the long run. So, roll on October 3rd, then I guess I will have another adjustment around mid November, then early Jan… still hoping the braces will be off around April, but, if they’re not, it’s not a big deal to me at the moment – I’m just staying focused on now – In all honesty it’s so nice to have the full wire on the bottom teeth again, feeling like everything is stable…that’s all I wanted for now xxx

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Surgery day – Day 46 of recovery video…. Next step….Orthodontics, round 2….

It’s Wednesday 27th August 2014, I see the orthodontist tomorrow to resume the orthodontics (wooohoooo!!!) As I enter into this next phase of my journey I decided to do a video summary of the surgery and recovery, as well as being nice for me to look back on to show me how far I have come, hopefully it will give you an insight into the recovery from this type of surgery. 

 As always, any questions at all please do get in touch x x x

Day 46… (and pictures day 36-46)

A couple of nights ago I got a very strong jaw spasm and my lower jaw looked like it had shifted to the right 1-2mm, The spasm hurt lots and happened (and seems to happen) when I attempt to chew anything on my left side. Lesson learnt… I have been wearing the guiding bands all day and its taken 2 days to get the mid line pulled back into the centre. I will ask my Orthodontist about this on Thursday when I see him, but I’m pretty sure it’s muscular and probably me overworking the muscles too early. Still on soft food but its just safer at the moment and if it avoids those painful spasms I’ll stick to that. Weight at the moment  is 9 stone 9 lbs, total loss since double jaw surgery = 12lbs…

I’m looking forward to Thursday’s appointment, but I’m prepared for a lot of pain after the bottom braces are repaired. Im staying positive by knowing that this will probably be the most pain the braces will give me for this final stage of my journey – once your teeth get used to constant pressure each orthodontic movement feels concentrated to one or two areas not all the teeth, however this time I know most of the front bottom teeth will be moved at once…. I’m sure it will be nothing compared to the jaw surgery though 🙂 x

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It’s wake up time… (I hope) xxx

Over the last week I have really noticed shooting pain on my lower “numb” section. I especially feel this when i lie down ( well, I’m still on 3 pillows at night to give me some elevation still but it beats sitting upright like I did at the start)… Logically i’m thinking ok, I lie down, this means more blood is running to my face, this must be the nerve waking up and feeling coming back… I hope so. Its odd though, I seem to be pretty much numb or having a shooting pain. I thought it would come back in little stages if at all. This is all a good sign though and dare I say it?…. I think I am going to come through this surgery with 100 percent feeling returning 🙂 . I was very (un)lucky to have retained practically all feeling in my face immediately, which although It gave me a very hard time when the pain was intense (there are not even the words to express how much pain I was in, I have never EVER felt physical pain anywhere close to this in my life, I honestly thought “I cant handle this, this is way way waaaay off the scale”) but I knew even then, and definitely now, that this would be a good thing long term, which, 5 weeks and 5 days down the line, in minimal pain but definitely still feeling achey and sore, I am so grateful for. 

I’m looking forward to my Orthodntist appointment next Thursday 28th August to have the bottom brace repaired and to get a wire back on to pull the teeth back into alignment. The finish line is way in the distance, but its there and I can see it now. Its an exciting phase for me.  My Orthodontist calls it “the fun part” as we are now working with jaws that are in proper relation to eachother, he says its the “fine tuning” of the bite. I found a bit of information on the internet about what I am experiencing and a guide to how long healing may take:

How long will it take for my jaws to heal?

The length of time it takes for people to heal depends on how old and fit they are but in general the jaw bones are almost healed after two to three months.

Will some areas of my face and mouth feel numb after orthognathic surgery?

During the surgery, we take great care to protect the nerves that run through the jaws, however, immediately after your surgery some areas of your face might feel numb. This usually recovers with time.

If we have moved your upper jaw, the numb feeling is (usually) only in the cheeks, upper lip and teeth. If we moved your lower jaw, you might have some numbness of the lower lip, chin and teeth, and possibly the tongue.

Why do some people get numbness after orthognathic surgery?

Numbness, which we call paraesthesia, is a reduction in the sensation of the area served by particular sensory nerves and their nerve endings.

During surgery, it is relatively easy to protect from direct damage the (larger) nerves that run through the upper and lower jaws. These nerves divide in the jaws and tissues into thinner branches and tiny nerve endings, which can’t be easily seen and protected. Some of them are likely to be cut or bruised during the surgery, but individual branches will only serve smaller areas of skin and tissue so the area affected will be limited.

Nerves can repair themselves if they are just bruised and if the cut ends lie closely can mend on their own. This means that most numbness after orthognathic surgery will return to normal over the weeks or months after the operation.

You also have nerves that control the movement of your facial muscles and jaws. Happily these do not run in the areas of the face and jaws that are routinely operated on during orthognathic surgery and so the movement of the face and lips should not be affected by this surgery.

Nerve regeneration process:neuron_regeneration

I’m still on a soft diet andhave continued to lose weight although its slowing down, I am now 9stone 10lbs so my total loss is 11lbs so far. 

I knew it after surgery, even with the pain I was in, that this was the right thing for me to do. I have known that all along, I have absolutely no regrets at all and stay positive by knowing that a few weeks/months of pain and discomfort will be worth the reults that will last me a lifetime. No regrets, none at all 🙂 xxx

5 weeks today!!!

5 weeks today since my double jaw surgery. As I begin typing this at 13.44 I was being operated on this time 5 weeks ago. I had an appointment with The Orthodontist and Surgeon today and they reconfirmed they are very happy with things and that I am allowed to only wear my guiding bands from about 6pm until morning each day. My orthontist said to keep an eye on my midline and if that starts to shift to one side then to go back to wearing the bands at all times. He said I need to retrain my facial muscles, especially as I had a crossbite and asymmetry as those muscles will try to pull things back to where they were previously. I arrived at the hopsital about 45 minutes early so did a quick video of my expectations today and thoughts so far…

Although I had hoped the bottom wire would be changed today and the lower brace fixed, this will happen in 2 weeks time on 28th August – 7 weeks post op. I am excited to get the bottom teeth back in line and the fine tuning of my new bite to begin… My orthodontist mentioned today when speaking with the surgeon that I would see him in about 6 months when the braces are off ( I wanted to jump on this comment straight away but I didn’t, if it takes 6 or 9 months i’ll be one happy lady) It did excite me though to think how far I have come and how close the end is.. it’s in sight, so perhaps next February I will be brace free? in all honesty I dont feel any impatience with this at all, I am happy for the braces to be on at the moment, I know that no movement is taking place but at least nothing is moving the wrong way, especially until my bones heal. After what I’ve gone through I’m not going to put any pressure on the end part of the journey, I would rather it take slightly longer and be as perfect as it can be. I feel so grateful for the help of the orthodontist and surgeon. I dont regret it at all x

Day 27-29 Pictures…

Things seem to be slowing down regarding the physical changes I can see on a daily basis, although I still see changes when looking at pictures a week apart. I still feel tightness in the centre of my face and my upper lip on the left and the lower left jaw under my lip is still numb. I keep getting pulsing sensations there and a few sharp pains so Im hoping that means the nerves are repairing and feeling will come back. I’m still on my staple diet of mashed potato, yoghurt and the odd dunked biscuit in tea, my weight has gone to 9 Stone 11lbs, total loss so far is 10lbs. I see my Orthodontist on Thursday and am hoping that a wire will go along the bottom teeth to get everything back in place. Also where my braces were cut the lower canine tooth has lifted higher due to the force of the bands I am wearing so hopefully when that goes back down to where it was pre op I will be able to eat slightly harder food – righ now the teeth are very sore on the lower front right. I also have pain on my left hand side when i try to chew at all which then travels up into my ear, if I ignore it and carry on it goes to my left temple. I think it is the band pressure and hopefully once the full wire goes on the bottom that should solve a lot of the minor issues I’m having at the moment x x x

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Day 20 – 25 post op…

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31st July/ 21 days post op –I had my joint clinic appointment with the orthodontist and surgeon on Thursday 31st July (3 weeks post op) They are both very pleased with things so far and with how quickly I am healing. I did voice the concerns I had about 3 of my teeth at the front on the lower jaw that were moving lots. My orthodontist made a mini brace to try to contain the movement as one tooth was moving way forward and up – I’ve been calling my 3 lower teeth my Picasso teeth lol . Although I am shocked and disappointed with how much they have moved out of line I understand the force of the bands I am wearing is also contributing to their movement as they aren’t under any tension as the brackets of those teeth were broken off my teeth due to the force of the surgery. I trust my orthodontist completely and know these will be moved back. He even said that we may be able to put a wire through all of the lower teeth at my next appointment on 14th August. I said Thank you so many times to the surgeon today and he said that he was only doing his job and that I’m doing the hard part with the healing – I beg to differ but I am so so grateful for what he has done and how lucky I am with the team that I have treating me.

3rd August/24 days post op – 

photo 2 (8)I was looking through the pre op pictures that I took – the ones I hated taking at the time and the ones that upset me to look at. I hoped that one day I would be able to look at them and “that face” would be a distant memory…. I took a photo face on (which I always avoided) with a relaxed pose that showed just how lop sided my face was. I compared it with a post op picture… Every time I look at it i’m amazed at the difference a few mm of movement can do and how clever the surgeons are. I don’t think I will ever be able to thank them enough for what they have done for me x

 

4th August/ 25 days post op- video update 🙂